Just because you can’t single-handedly flip a system doesn’t mean you have no impact.
Most calls to action on climate focus on one of 2 things:
- Make individual changes to your lifestyle that you have complete control over (the BYO KeepCup school of action)
- Lobby, protest, shame, and cajole others with power into doing something (the Make Noise school of action)
Between these lies the vast realm of things you can’t control but can influence.
Set your accountability ceiling
We agree that you alone cannot achieve the lofty goal of capping warming at 1.5 degrees.
That said, you can set an aspirational goal for how you would like to live your life that is aligned with this grander vision. Between these 2 goals lies the accountability ceiling, marking the limits of what you can contribute (alone or with others) to our larger purpose.
Rather than view your eco-upgrades as small, piecemeal changes, consider them as a growing assemblage of behaviours moving you towards a more purposeful way of living.
Find deeper places to intervene
It’s not just you that thinks changing coffee cups feels shallow.
Systems legend Donella Meadows mapped 12 places to intervene in a system. In her hierarchy of places to intervene, ditching disposables barely scratches the surface. You can get more bang for your buck by working at deeper levers – strengthening feedback loops, redesigning the rules of the system, and shifting mindset and worldviews.
Here’s the tradeoff: easier changes tend to have less impact, while deeper leverage points require more elbow grease and skill to get moving.
Trust your gut, muster your courage and lean into expanding your circle of influence to make change for climate (and please don’t forget your reusable mug).